More businesses backing quake recovery

Friday 17 September 2010, 7:40AM
By New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development


Evidence continues to mount of businesses helping the community, staff and each other to cope with the major Canterbury earthquake.

They include major extra waste management operations to cope with huge volumes of waste from coolstores and damaged buildings, to keeping data centres running, providing deep discounts on needed suppliers to shoppers – and donating millions to relief funds.

The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development, which earlier this week cited several examples of how businesses have been contributing, says other illustrations of the stance companies are taking continue to roll in.

Business Council Chair Bob Field says it demonstrates New Zealand firms are taking the long-term and socially responsible view, which is essential to fulfill their role in preserving the community: “Businesses are earning their licence to operate and know they can’t succeed in societies that fail.

“As a country we can take heart from the responses we’re seeing,” Mr Field says.

Some of the efforts in additional to those cited in this Business Council media release on Tuesday, include:

Transpacific Industries Group divisions

Transpacific Waste Management
•       Operating Kate Valley Landfill 18 hours daily to cope with three times normal waste flow
•       Operating the waste transport system from Christchurch transfer stations 23 hours a day to shift the massive mountain of perishable food waste from distribution centres, cool stores, and supermarkets, hauling three times the normal daily volume
•       Operating the largest waste transfer station out of the six in Christchurch, processing 42% of the earthquake waste, and operating at five times normal daily volumes
•       Working closely with Civil Defence and Christchurch City Council on critical waste disposal issues
•       Continuing the Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri residential kerbside waste, recycling and organic collections in all areas on the normal weekly schedule, including worst affected streets, to provide at least one uninterrupted basic service to residents
•       Bringing drivers and operators to Christchurch from Transpacific branches all over the country to allow this elevated level of activity for the next few weeks.

Transpacific Industrial Services

•       Providing highly specialised pipe inspection and restoration teams to local authorities for sewer repairs
•       Waterblasting and waterjetting teams clearing drains and kerbs in liquefaction areas
•       Sweeper trucks fully engaged in damaged areas to clear roads of liquefaction soils and dust
•       Sucker trucks clearing out blocked drainage sumps in liquefaction areas

Transpacific Technical Services

•       Providing 150 Portaloos for Councils
•       Specialised treatment and disposal of spilt chemicals
•       Provision of bunding around leaking or damaged tanks containing chemicals

The Warehouse, The Warehouse Stationery and Tindall Foundation

•       Donated $1million to the Mayoral relief fund
•       Donated 1,000 products, such as manchester, to the Salvation Army and Red Cross - all going to people who lost their homes.
•       Placed collection boxes in stores nationwide (until 26 Sept), allowing customers to donate directly to the Mayoral Relief Fund - no matter how small the contribution.
•       Sent structural engineers to the homes of team members that were very badly affected to provide assessment and relative certainty over the future of their homes
•       Provided other support and advice to team members and others on  what to do in the case of further quakes and where to get assistance
•       Offered deep price discounts on "needed" products.


•       With the airport closed and no access to the computer parts facility in the city, IBM formed an emergency task force that organised for spares to be shipped by road, in readiness for our clients.
•        A temporary warehouse was set-up and engineers from Australia and elsewhere in New Zealand were in Christchurch by the next day.
•       A special team was also set up in Daksh, India, to co-ordinate calls from affected clients.
•       Laptops donated to the New Zealand Red Cross for use in their Wellington office, which is providing administrative support for teams on the ground in Christchurch – in particular helping them cope with a surge in donations. IBM also gave laptops to Ferndale School, a special needs school in Christchurch that was affected by the earthquake and then burgled.